Eligibility and Priorities Central Valley Disadvantaged Community Water Quality Grants Program

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Projects Supported: Projects must be designed to benefit groundwater or surface water quality in the Central Valley or San Joaquin Valley, the west slope of the Sierra Nevada, or east slope of the coast range. Click here to view a map of the boundaries of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
  • Applicant requirements: Projects must benefit underserved, vulnerable, or otherwise disadvantaged communities and should demonstrate a high degree of community support and community involvement. Projects that benefit public health in addition to water quality are especially encouraged.
  • Grant amount: Applicants are encouraged to seek grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Your requested amount should not exceed 25% of your organization’s typical annual expenses. For multi-year projects, the project budget for one year should not be more than 25% of the organization’s annual budget.
  • Non-profit Status: Applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization, fiscally-sponsored by a 501(c)3, or a governmental or tribal entity.

Examples of Allowable Projects and Activities

Eligible projects include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Water Quality Monitoring Programs including water quality monitoring of surface and groundwater supplies in disadvantaged communities that do not have a publicly regulated community water system, as well as community-based water quality monitoring designed to aid overall watershed management and water resource decisions. This may include water quality testing of individual or community wells that are sources of domestic water.
  • Well Rehabilitation or Replacement including repairing wells that are sources of drinking water and that may provide conduits for pollutants to enter groundwater, or capping and replacing wells that cannot be rehabilitated.
  • Watershed Assessment Programs including community participation in watershed planning programs such as IRWMPs, development of model watershed protection policies, and development of local water quality protection plans and policies for disadvantaged community water sources.
  • Wetland, Waterbody or Riparian Habitat Conservation or Protection Programs including land acquisition combined with community-based restoration, interpretive or educational programs, and community-based watershed stewardship and riparian restoration programs.
  • Pollution Prevention Projects such as community-based outreach to businesses designed to encourage voluntary pollution reduction and water conservation, and public education about local water quality issues and what people can do to improve water quality in disadvantaged communities and other areas.
  • Public Awareness Projects including community outreach, education and assistance designed to encourage pollution reduction and/or water conservation to protect disadvantaged community water sources and other water bodies, and development and delivery of watershed-oriented environmental education curriculum.

Examples of Projects That Are Not Allowable

The following project activities may not be conducted with any SEP funds:

  • Lobbying
  • Litigation
  • Activities that specifically contradict a established agency or the State of California
  • Policy, including but not limited to the State Water Board’s Policy on SEPs


Tim Little, Executive Director
Email: tlittle[AT]rosefdn.org (please replace AT with @)

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